I've commited myself to Arch


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PNWDweller

About 3 months ago I switched my  Operating system to Arch after being a distro hopper playing around with the Ubuntu Variants and never feeling quite satisfied.  Where I work, we use Ubuntu based systems and I have grown quite comfortable in the command line experience and I felt like it was time to switch to a different OS.  Until then, I had used and have experience in Centos, Ubuntu, Solus linux and Fedora Linux.  What drove me to switch and make the choice to switch over, I  was getting tired of reading about kernel updates being pushed out fixing security bugs and also adding different functions.  While I can honestly say that my day to day activities don't require the latest and greatest kernel and software, it made sense to me especially when I would read about new software being released and then days or weeks before Canonical would certify it and release it to the general community.  I understand why they do this and I chose to move on. 

 

Arch itself tends to hold the notion that you have to compile all the software you want to use and it's a harder system to use.  I can honestly say that this is partially true, but what people fail to tell you is that the compiling is done automatically by the package manager (Pacman in this case).  If you are comfortable with the command line, and even if not, you can certainly install Arch or use an installer to do it for you.  I used Anarchy installer which basically formats your drive for you, and you select whatever software you want and then it installs it.  It does the heavy lifting.  When finished, you are booted into your Shiny new Arch system with the Desktop Environment you chose.  In my case, it is always KDE.

 

When I moved to Arch, I quickly found that not only do I have access to the latest and greatest builds, but also a lot of the alpha/beta versions of software.  For instance, I am running the "Bleeding Edge" version of Thunderbird mail which is in the alpha channels for testing.  You can't always do this with other systems.  i also have been able to experiment with different kernel versions.  Usually when I get updates, I have the most recent stable kernel release. 

 

For things I have done with Arch - aside from my Desktop, I have a PXE boot server installed on my NAS which is also using Arch and other server software on it.  My PXE server allows me to boot into clonezilla or fresh install Arch if I need to (really don't need to), without having any external installation media handy (Thumb drives usually).

 

Anyway, I have found my final Operating System and couldn't be any happier!

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rand0m.bullet

Arch is my favorite distro at home. I'm glad you've become a fan

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Brandon H

Arch is my favorite linux base distro as well. the AUR community run repository is just amazing.

 

usually I go for Manjaro, an Arch based distro, as it has all the essentials and some nice usability tools already included instead of selecting everything by scratch with a base Arch install. but that's mostly personal preference.

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cork1958

Arch is one of the very few Linux distro's I've never tried although I always hear great things about it. May have to give it a try.

 

As fun as distro hopping is, at first, glad you found a home! :)

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Brandon H
24 minutes ago, cork1958 said:

Arch is one of the very few Linux distro's I've never tried although I always hear great things about it. May have to give it a try.

 

As fun as distro hopping is, at first, glad you found a home! :)

unlike a lot of other distros, Arch uses a rolling release cycle, so things generally stay more up to date. plus along with its primary pacman repo there's a community run repo called AUR that it utilizes so you can find almost any linux compatible app under the sun and install it with ease.

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cork1958
1 hour ago, Brandon H said:

unlike a lot of other distros, Arch uses a rolling release cycle, so things generally stay more up to date. plus along with its primary pacman repo there's a community run repo called AUR that it utilizes so you can find almost any linux compatible app under the sun and install it with ease.

Ya, that rolling release thing is probably what has kept me from trying it. Most of my machines are on the older side of things and a couple are what you would call very old.

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Brandon H
7 minutes ago, cork1958 said:

Ya, that rolling release thing is probably what has kept me from trying it. Most of my machines are on the older side of things and a couple are what you would call very old.

on the contrary, that's all the more reason to like Arch because you can have updated apps but still have fine tuned control of things like what kernel is being used etc.

 

manjaro primarily uses XFCE for the DE so that's widely compatible even with older hardware :) 

 

edit: heck if your computer is weak enough Arch still supports even simpler DEs like BlackBox and the like

I've used Arch to breath new life into plenty of older / low-end machines

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cork1958
32 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

on the contrary, that's all the more reason to like Arch because you can have updated apps but still have fine tuned control of things like what kernel is being used etc.

 

manjaro primarily uses XFCE for the DE so that's widely compatible even with older hardware :) 

 

edit: heck if your computer is weak enough Arch still supports even simpler DEs like BlackBox and the like

I've used Arch to breath new life into plenty of older / low-end machines

I was at their site a bit ago, but don't see anything about a live version. I'm assuming you can run it from usb, as  you can most any other linux. Is it possible?

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Brandon H
41 minutes ago, cork1958 said:

I was at their site a bit ago, but don't see anything about a live version. I'm assuming you can run it from usb, as  you can most any other linux. Is it possible?

I'm not sure if base Arch has a live disk or not since it just gives the bare minimum and you have to choose your packages from the get go. But Arch based distros do still have live disc images. This is another reason I like Manjaro as it has the essentials included.

 

https://manjaro.org/

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Mindovermaster

Use ArcoLinux. It's easy to set up whatever way you want. There's a Stage 1, 2, and 3

 

https://arcolinux.com/

 

If you want to use AUR, use yay to download your files. It is a very good tool.

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aphanic
48 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

I'm not sure if base Arch has a live disk or not

Yes, there's live install media for Arch, but it's terminal based. Installation of Arch is nowadays more manual than it used to be 10 years ago too, I remember there being at least 2 different CLI installers, but they were both phased out. Still, given that @cork1958already has some mileage in the Linux world I'd say it doesn't pose any problem.

 

Plus, I'd say the wiki of Arch is one of the most highly regarded among the community in general, the installation procedure specifically is quite well covered. When first installing Arch one might find themselves doing more reading and jumping through a couple of pages of the wiki, but it's not complicated at all. For older computers with 32-bit processors there's also Arch Linux 32, which is a community maintained version of Arch because x86 was dropped a while ago (and Arch for ARM too).

 

Manjaro and ArcoLinux were mentioned already, there's another one that could be the spiritual successor of Antergos called EndeavourOS I've found to be nice, but they all are based on Arch so everything applies; I think one of the "stages" of ArcoLinux is even installing Arch directly if I'm not mistaken.

 

I've always liked Pacman and its simplicity compared to other package manager, although I tend to have aliases to ease the work across distros (e.g. pkginstall, pkgremove, ...). If you need to package something or rebuild a package from source adding some changes perhaps, the package definition will be quite familiar, to the naked eye is very similar to a bash script. I also share the same opinion on AUR as others have expressed, very nice to have.

 

Nice place you landed on @PNWDweller🙂,  and Arch Conf 2020 happened around 10 days ago and there were interesting talks, for example on the architecture of the infrastructure behind it all. Those interested can find the presentation and materials in their site and I think on YouTube as well.

 

PS. If for some reason you wanted to try something else that's similar and different at the same time, openSUSE's Tumbleweed is another rolling-release distro that I've found quite interesting (they even went overboard when they updated GCC to version 10 and rebuilt all of the packages of the distro haha).

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n_K

Arch doesn't compile all packages on the fly, I'm not sure where you got that information but it's wrong (aur packages are, but they are not normal packages). If you wanted to compile packages for everything you'd go with something like gentoo, and you would would know it. Apart from spending a long time getting things configured, you'd be sitting there for hours or days whilst everything compiled.

Arch used to be very lightweight, been using it for about a decade on laptops, desktops, servers and embedded devices, it has became much more bloated though in times gone by. Lots of packages require an excess that they didn't before, e.g. previously you could get a lot of systems with no x11 components at all but now lots of them pull x11 or mesa in which then shafts you with a lot of excess crap. The initial switchover to systemd was also very badly done (it wasn't actually an arch issue, it was a systemd issue, back then systemd really was a buggy mess, it's much improved now).

 

I still use arch on my raspberry pi with a custom 64-bit kernel, on servers and also have an old version which I won't upgrade on my laptop that I use about 35% of the time (dual booted with windows 10, it's on a 4.x kernel, it's setup just the way I like). There's also a few packages in the AUR I made and submitted.

 

Lots you can do with arch, it's a great distro and I do like it mostly, generally it works well but when (and it's a case of when, not if, you will encounter an issue) you encounter an issue, it's normally a gigantic pain in the ass to fix. Once you've fixed it then it's all plain sailing, and such issues are rare, but they do happen.

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Mindovermaster
7 minutes ago, n_K said:

Lots you can do with arch, it's a great distro and I do like it mostly, generally it works well but when (and it's a case of when, not if, you will encounter an issue) you encounter an issue, it's normally a gigantic pain in the ass to fix. Once you've fixed it then it's all plain sailing, and such issues are rare, but they do happen.

It happens with any distro, mate.

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adrynalyne
1 minute ago, Mindovermaster said:

It happens with any distro, mate.

That may be but it’s far more likely to happen on a bleeding edge distro. I love Arch but I’ve been bitten by it too. 

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Mindovermaster
47 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

That may be but it’s far more likely to happen on a bleeding edge distro. I love Arch but I’ve been bitten by it too. 

True, true, happens on any "rolling" release. Like Arch, Gentoo, openSUSE Tumbleweed, etc.

 

Happens to all, though, not just Arch folks. I remember having so much trouble with Debian when I first stepped into Linux.

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n_K
1 hour ago, Mindovermaster said:

It happens with any distro, mate.

As adrynalyne said, only with rolling distros. Things like debian are patch releases only, sure you're stuck with whatever features came at release but you have the benefit of knowing bugs will be patched and that's it without having to worry about feature changes or breakages. There's been a few times where arch updates have literally bricked a system and needed fixing from a recovery image due to updates - you wouldn't get such an issue with debian ever.

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Mindovermaster
1 minute ago, n_K said:

As adrynalyne said, only with rolling distros. Things like debian are patch releases only, sure you're stuck with whatever features came at release but you have the benefit of knowing bugs will be patched and that's it without having to worry about feature changes or breakages. There's been a few times where arch updates have literally bricked a system and needed fixing from a recovery image due to updates - you wouldn't get such an issue with debian ever.

If you mess with the config, you can still mess it up. Yes, the programs don't break in Debian (well, except for the Testing and Developer branch) But if you mess with it, you can really screw it up.

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n_K
4 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

If you mess with the config, you can still mess it up. Yes, the programs don't break in Debian (well, except for the Testing and Developer branch) But if you mess with it, you can really screw it up.

In my experience:

  • Arch on a desktop: messed up, required live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a local server: messeed up, requiired live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a remote server: messed up, could not even fix issue, had to swich to Debian - ISP claimed there was not issue but there was, after a certain amout of time, server was unreachable
  • Arch on a local raspberry pi: messed up a lot, now requires custom kernel, packages are OK
  • Debian on a remote server: no issues, never needed to update configuration files, had to switch after issues with arch on server.
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Brandon H
8 minutes ago, n_K said:

In my experience:

  • Arch on a desktop: messed up, required live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a local server: messeed up, requiired live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a remote server: messed up, could not even fix issue, had to swich to Debian - ISP claimed there was not issue but there was, after a certain amout of time, server was unreachable
  • Arch on a local raspberry pi: messed up a lot, now requires custom kernel, packages are OK
  • Debian on a remote server: no issues, never needed to update configuration files, had to switch after issues with arch on server.

was that vanilla Arch or one of the Arch based distros like Arcolinux or Manjaro though. the pre-built distros usually cover for all that breakage for you where you're manually doing everything with vanilla Arch.

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Mindovermaster
5 minutes ago, n_K said:

In my experience:

  • Arch on a desktop: messed up, required live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a local server: messeed up, requiired live ISO to remidy issue
  • Arch on a remote server: messed up, could not even fix issue, had to swich to Debian - ISP claimed there was not issue but there was, after a certain amout of time, server was unreachable
  • Arch on a local raspberry pi: messed up a lot, now requires custom kernel, packages are OK
  • Debian on a remote server: no issues, never needed to update configuration files, had to switch after issues with arch on server.

 It all depends on what you do with it...

 

I agree with Brandon above, yeah, that happens to vanilla Arch, but not Arch-based distros.

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n_K
13 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

was that vanilla Arch or one of the Arch based distros like Arcolinux or Manjaro though. the pre-built distros usually cover for all that breakage for you where you're manually doing everything with vanilla Arch.

Arch. I've never used any other arch-based distro

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Marujan

try fedora

 

fedora-23.jpg

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PNWDweller

I think if I go away from Arch, maybe Gentoo.   But for now, I'm happy where I'm at. :)  

 

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Nick H.

<Thread cleaned>

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Brandon H
12 hours ago, PNWDweller said:

I think if I go away from Arch, maybe Gentoo.   But for now, I'm happy where I'm at. :)  

 

Gentoo is a beast of it's own lol. I consider myself semi-knowledgeable with linux and I've never successfully installed Gentoo :rofl: you have to manually compile everything yourself.

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